Infrastructure provision in developing Asia’s giants: A comparative perspective on China, India, and Indonesia

Abdul Abiad, Renard Teipelke


This paper provides a comparative perspective on infrastructure provision in developing Asia’s three largest countries: China, India, and Indonesia. It discusses their achievements and shortfalls in providing network infrastructure (energy, transport, water, and telecommunications) over the past two decades. It documents how three quite distinct development paths—and very different
levels of national saving and investment—were manifested in different trajectories of infrastructure provision. The paper then describes the institutional, economic, and policy factors that enabled or hindered progress in providing infrastructure. Here, contrasting levels of centralization of planning
played a key role, as did countries’ differing abilities to mobilize infrastructure-related revenue streams such as user charges and land value capture. The paper then assesses future challenges for the three countries in providing infrastructure in a more integrated and sustainable way, and links these challenges with the global development agenda to which the three countries have committed. The concluding recommendations hope to provide a platform for further policy and research dialogue.


infrastructure; development; planning; policy; Asia; China; India; Indonesia

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